Idaho PTECH Network Executive Director Alan Millar was invited to the White House this month to recognize efforts that support more college opportunities for students.
The PTECH Network bridges the gap between education and Idaho industry by providing high school students with a path to gaining credentials and skills needed to secure jobs in Idaho’s high growth industries. PTECH started five months ago and has 110 juniors and seniors participating from eight different high schools.
PTECH applied and was accepted along with 300 other pilot programs to attend the College Opportunity Summit, in Washington, D.C. The Dec. 4 summit focused on building K-12 and community college partnerships, and other collaborative efforts designed to improve college persistence and completion, especially among lower income students.
“This summit offered insightful discussion among our county’s leading education, business and nonprofit leaders,” Millar said.
According to the Idaho Department of Labor, by 2018 there will be roughly 1,500 available jobs in industries such as aerospace/advanced manufacturing, technology and healthcare, and there may not be enough skilled Idahoans to fill those positions. The Idaho PTECH Network is focused on meeting the needs of that potential workforce.
The Idaho PTECH Network provides students with guidance through transitions, including selection of high school courses, online college courses taken while in high school, community college degree and certificate programs, and job shadows or internships. Idaho PTECH uses teacher tutors from InsideTrack to provide remote access to college and career counseling for students wherever they are in Idaho.
Elements of the PTECH Network pathway were emphasized at the College Opportunity Summit, including collaboration between high school and community college, community partnerships to support college readiness, and investments in high school counselors. Summit speakers and panel participants shared a common concern – lack of college opportunity and the need for a skilled workforce.
Disclosure: The Idaho PTECH Network and Idaho Education News and both funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.